So, they announced the winners of phase one for the weight loss competition.  Overall, while I am completely loving my overall experience with Young Living, I have been very wordswag_1491937060457disappointed with their weight loss competition.  Do their products work?  Yeah.  I just haven’t been a big fan of the way they chose to run this competition.  They had a very large registration window – allowing for people to enroll their starting weight a full month before the competition started.  There was no progress chart for us to see our standing.   They changed the rules mid-stream and their announcement of the winners included NO information about the winner’s progress or where we all fell on the chart in standings.  Honestly, something seems amuck and it has left me not caring about finishing their competition.  I mean – I lost like 30 pounds and 19 inches, but another person self-proclaimed they lost 7 pounds and somehow lost over 30 inches?  Maybe I don’t live in their version of reality.

That being said, I started the competition at just under 380 pounds and I am now 337.4 – so I’m still rockin’ it!  I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments.  I’m proud I walked five days a week – EVERY SINGLE WEEK – and made mostly phenomenal eating choices throughout the competition.  Could I have done better?  Sure, but everyone knows that I busted my butt to win this thing and I can’t feel bad about my progress.

I’ve wanted to post about self-sabotage for the last few weeks?  Did you see that I weigh a little more than I did when I last posted?  Yeah… I don’t know if you can call that sabotage, but I feel like it is.

The hardest thing about this long journey of weight loss is that life keeps moving.  Work still causes stress, relationship difficulties still sap all your energy and leave you too depressed to want to go to a gym… heck, even human nature itself sometimes gets in the way of “feeling” the need to get out there and pound the pavement.  For me, though, I still struggle with a spirit that is easy to break.  I’ve experienced this when I hit major milestones and I realize how very far I still have left to go.  I’ve also experienced disappointment with the numbers not moving as much as I wanted after a few days pass.  I have experienced the desire to get to a goal so bad that the stress I place on myself increases my temptation.  Most recently, though, I have noticed how much external validation plays into my weight loss journey.  231ac1e478c6cc93c4c7d01bd4e254d0

After the first phase of the competition ended and waiting period began, I watched as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into a month before the results were announced.  To be honest with you, this period of time killed me.  I wanted to know I won.  I wanted my efforts to be validated.  I wanted to feel like I had done something that made me worth it.  As this antagonizing waiting period stretched on, I found I gave into temptation so much more frequently than I ever have.  To be even more honest, this weekend I made a ton of choices that I never would have made before after I experienced the crushing and unsatisfying announcement of the results.

I expected that there would be a post showing the overall progress and, if I didn’t win, I could still show that I came in near the top.  Yet, I wasn’t given that.  I was only given a short announcement that identified the names of the winner…  I cursed out loud and immediately sought out unhealthy food and alcohol.  How could they do this?  Something feels wrong!  I feel so… cheated!  For the rest of the weekend, I continued to make unhealthy choices as I ate whatever I wanted and however much I wanted.

It was with my behaviors during the waiting period for announcements and the choices I made after the announcement, I knew I had to talk about self-sabotage.  With all the success I have been having, why would I have such a strong need to have the validation of this weight loss competition when the ultimate award for losing this weight is so much more important than prizes or prize money?  How much would you pay to be able to tie your shoes or go to the zoo and walk 7.5 miles in 3 hours and still have the energy to make it through the rest of your day?  To me, these abilities have become priceless.  So, why would I sabotage my progress over something so stupid as waiting forever for progressresults or losing a competition?

Maybe I got so focused on the prizes that I forgot what this journey is all about?  Maybe I got so focused on overcoming that I lost sight of the fact that I am already winning?  Maybe I will  always struggle with inner voices that make me incapable of seeing my own worth?  Perhaps it is not about being perfect or being the best? Maybe I need to be okay with just being me and not being so focused on external sources for defining my self worth?  Maybe I just need to be focused on being the best version of myself that I can be and roll with both the good weeks and the bad weeks?

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

  • September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
  • Today: 337.4 pounds
  • Total loss  112.6 pounds (42.1% of my total excess body weight)

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New Around Here?

What a beautiful day!  With the sun out and the temperature coming in at just below 70 degrees, today is a day of beauty!  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, I can drive with the windows down, and I am gearing up for my last client of the day!  I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Tuesday, as well.  I thought I would take a minute to address those of you that may be new around here.

Back in September, I was chatting with a great friend, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth shared the story of her weight transformation that occurred just prior to our meeting.  As she talked me1with me, I was filled with hope.  This hope was born out of the realization that I had a very tangible control over my weight situation.  Until  then, I felt my weight was a curse upon my life and I was a victim.  To reinforce this negative line of thinking, I had created a list of subconscious lies that empowered that thinking and I had resigned myself to always being a victim of genetics and life circumstances rather than in control of my situation.  Her story also taught me that the true work of weight loss is more control of what you are taking in rather than what you are exercising out – a concept that completely reversed my misconception of what it meant to lose weight.

On September 11, 2016, I embarked on a journey.  Weighing in at 450 pounds, wearing size 60 jeans, and wearing 5xl shirts, I decided that I needed to take control of my life and save myself from the brink of becoming dependent upon others for caring for my daily needs.  Barely able to tie my shoes and unable to get out of bed without back or sciatica pain, I took control of the calories I was eating and the weight began to fall off.

Today, I am weighing 336.8 pounds, wearing size 48 jeans, and 2xl shirts.  Thanks to a handy count up app on my smart phone, I can tell you that today is day 205 of my newwp-1491073063214.jpg journey and, while I’m still obese, I am back to a much more normal size and quickly closing  in on the half way point of my journey.

I started this site to help encourage people that are struggling to find their pace and take control of their own lives.  While it has taken some time, my wife and I have both known people that have watched our transformations and began to embark on their own journeys.

So, whether you need to lose 20 pounds or 250, this is the place for you.  I’m not a person that is preaching about health and has never been overweight.  If you take the time to read through my raw and very personal posts, you’ll find that I’ve been sharing an honest window into my life in order to let others know the struggles (mental and physical) that I have been enduring in order to make this happen.

The important thing is that you stop using thinking errors, you realize the control you have over your own weight situation, and you stop delaying the institution of necessary changes for weight loss.  The journey of our lives is not one that we can ever take reset or do over.  I had made promises that I would lose weight before I hit 20, 25, 30, etc.  None of those ever worked.  I made a decision and acted on it.  Then, I followed through.

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

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Time Away – My Journey Continues

Just when you thought I disappeared, I am back!  I needed some time to take a step back and clear my head.  For the past few weeks, I have been missing from the blogging wp-1491073113135.jpgworld, but I needed the time to refocus my energies and invest in my mental health.  I’ve focused on sharing essential oils with my friends and family, working, going to gym, playing video games with my XBOX One friends, and scrambling to find Garth Brooks tickets at cost!  I didn’t fall off the wagon, I’ve been cleaning the wagon and pressing ever forward.

My focus for both my weight loss and building my team with Young Living essential oils has been to enjoy the journey rather than running myself to death towards a destination.  For weight loss, this means that I have been steadily cruising through my new norm.  For essential oils, I worked more than I ever have to invest in sharing Young Living and helping to invest in the people that have already started on this journey with me.  The results have been the same for both my weight loss and Young Living journeys:  steady progress.  Sometimes, we got so focused on a specific goal that it can be easy to become frustrated and give up, but we must remind ourselves that the slow steps wp-1491073104211.pngforward are so much more important than a failed lunge forward.  Also, if we take time to enjoy the journey, we can reach the destination having enjoyed the steps that got us there.

What has changed?

Rather than focusing my energies on walking between 3-5 miles a day, I have been investing my time in heading to the gym.  I joined a gym because my body had a desire to move faster than I could walk.  Fearing potential damage to my joints, I elected to utilize the elliptical machine so that I could move faster, but avoid any long-term damage.  Thus far, I have struggled with the elliptical due to the speed increase.  I started by doing 20 minutes on the elliptical, but now I have worked my way up to about 45 minutes.

wp-1491073081914.jpgI have also added the use of several weight machines.  Planet Fitness has a 30 minute workout cycle.  I do those machines for 60 seconds each using very low weights and doing as many reps as possible.  I also, occasionally, use a step box to do a variety of cardio exercises in between each machine, but I also allow myself to do fewer of these than other days based on how hard I push myself with the elliptical.

Another change is that I am not tracking my calories as diligently.  Until recently, I focused my efforts on calculating each and every calorie I put into my mouth.  It seems more common now for me to focus my attentions on eating the right foods and not putting as much stress on myself at staying on a certain number.  The results?  Well, the last few weeks I have been losing an average of 4 pounds per week whereas I was losing 3.4 per week.  It seems the body has an incredible ability to communicate with us our TRUE NEEDS if we learn to LISTEN TO IT.  However, along with learning to listen to my body, I have also had to learn how to push myself just enough to achieve growth, but not so much that I go too far.

To be honest with you, I’m thrilled about where I am in this life at this moment!  I’ve been reminded lately just how many friends I have in this world and I’m truly seeing the changes in myself that I have been waiting for.  When I started this journey, I was in 5x-6x clothing and desperately needed to stop squeezing into size 58 pants and justwp-1491073063214.jpg accept that I was breaking into the 60s.  Today, I am easily wearing 3x clothing and able to get myself into size 48 jeans.

One of the most discouraging thoughts that kept me at my weight was my perception of the amount of time it would take to be the weight I wanted to reach.  When I would think of how the process would take years to finally reach my goal, the whole task looked a lot like trying to scale a mountain with no climbing gear (not that the gear would have held much at 450 pounds).  Looking back on these thoughts today, I could easily regret choosing to remain in that state for so long given how many daily increases I experience to my quality of life with each new pound I lose.  I fit in chairs again, I have no fear of the waitress sitting me at a booth rather than a table, showering is easier, using the toilet is easier, I can see my underwear in the mirror, I can tie my shoes anywhere, I can go enjoy my life without losing my breath at parks or even the grocery store, I can go to a concert without fear of fitting into the seats and crowding my friends with my body, and I have even seen a few more personal changes with my body 😉 !

If you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you won’t.  If you don’t start a journey because it feels impossible, you’ll never get to where you want to be.  If you jump onto a hype-filled train and try achieving the impossible, you’ll eventually get dizzy and end up confused on the side of a train wreck.  However, I’ve proven over the past 6 or so months that you can achieve BIG things by taking one step at a time.

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

  • September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
  • Today: 336.8 pounds
  • Total loss  113.2 pounds (42.4% of my total excess body weight)

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